Mr. Steve Gettelman
Middle School Math
Mr. Gettelman took on the title of Principal in 2013, but he has been an instrumental part of the family of Grace since 2006. In 2005, he graduated from Concordia, WI with a degree in Secondary Education – Math and came to us as the 7th-8th homeroom teacher, middle school math, science, and PE teacher, as well as the Athletic Director. Over the years, he has proven himself to be an exceptional teacher, dedicated and thoughtful leader, and a strong role model for our students. He assists our young people in making smart decisions every day and guides them spiritually, academically, and socially.
Because of his math expertise, Mr. Gettelman continues to teach 5th - 8th grade math and helps our students to consistently work to raise their scores on the various mathematical portions of the Iowa tests. He has a wonderful way of making math both approachable and fun.
Not only is Mr. Gettelman a strong leader in the hallways of the school, but also on the basketball court and in track and field. He is the head coach for both our boys’ basketball team and our co-ed track and field team, and he does an amazing job of helping his young athletes to excel individually and as a team.
This verse from Jeremiah really hits home with me because at the age of 18, I never would have predicted that I would be a teacher or a principal. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Mrs. Dena Guziewicz
Miss Jennifer Lebeck
4K & 5K
4K & 5K Teacher Aid
Mrs. Amy Pankow
1st & 2nd Grade
In Mrs. Pankow’s classroom, play and learning go hand in hand. She believes very strongly that children grow and develop through play, so she aims to create playful learning experiences for her students. This results in hands on explorations and many open ended questions to help students develop critical thinking skills and learn to work with each other.
Because Mrs. Pankow’s mother is a librarian, she has a love of books and reading and shares that with the children in her classroom. Mrs. Pankow has an extensive library in her room, rivaling the school library and rotates the books she uses throughout the year to go with themes that the students are learning. She also brings her love of theater into the student’s reading, teaches them reading strategies to develop fluency, and because of this, her students get excited to read.
While Mrs. Pankow’s room is full of love and learning, some learning also takes place through consequences. Built on Law and Gospel, Mrs. Pankow’s classroom is a safe place for children to learn to take responsibility for actions which are not conducive to learning. She teaches children about forgiveness, how to take ownership of mistakes, and how to learn from those mistakes to make better choices which will make them successful.
Mrs. Pankow considers herself a life-long learner who loves to share what she learns with her students, and she and her husband are expecting their first child in the spring.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Eph. 4:2
Mrs. Rita Heinen
3rd - 4th Grade
Middle School Art
Our 3rd-4th grade classroom thrives with activity, thanks to Mrs. Heinen, and we are so fortunate to have her at Grace. She truly loves her students, works well with children of all learning levels, and she can often be found after school tutoring students who just need some extra time to fully understand certain concepts. Even though there is a lot of energy in her classroom, there is also strong structure and respect for all. Her children know that they are able to work hard and succeed, as well as learn from their mistakes in a safe environment.
Some of the fun things that happen in the 3rd & 4th grade classroom the culture unit for reading which includes cooking and learning words in another language, going to the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and going to the library to learn how to navigate various ways to research, how to use the computers for both work and play, and all of the different items and information available at the library.
In the middle school art program students learn about positive and negative space, shading, and dimension, as well as working with multiple types of media. A couple of times this year, the students even had a visiting artist come into the classroom to work with them. At the end of each year, all of our young artists get the opportunity to showcase their art in our annual Art Gallery Night.
Because of Mrs. Heinen, Grace is also now offering fun summer classes. The favorite this summer was a class all about Legos, and she hopes to add more classes next summer, as interest grows. In Mrs. Heinen’s spare time, she loves to play volleyball, read, and scrapbook. One of her favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 because, not only was it her 8th grade class verse, but it has taken on new meaning for her. I never planned to teach in a Lutheran School, but now I see clearly that God’s plans are not always our plans, and His plans are always better.
Mrs. Lisa Hengst
5th - 6th Grade Homeroom
Middle School English
Middle School Social Studies
4K - 8th Grade Music
Mrs. Hengst brings exuberance to everything she teaches. She graduated in 2002, from Concordia, WI, with a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Organ, and is certified through the state of Wisconsin in K-12 music education, as well as 1-6 elementary education. As the 5th-6th grade homeroom teacher, she is able to apply the Bible to today and make it relevant for the world our children live in; she does the same with social studies by having the students learn history through fun projects and interactive activities. In English, they work on core grammar skills, novel studies, and creative writing. The students always enjoy sharing the stories they’ve written with the class.
As our all school music teacher, Mrs. Hengst introduces our students to simple instruments like the triangle, maracas, and hand bells. Often the students sing as part of Sunday morning worship services, participate in our yearly Christmas program, and perform at the yearly Spring Concert. Mrs. Hengst’s high energy approach to music makes this a favorite class for all ages.
Aside from her in-school activities, Mrs. Hengst also provides private piano lessons after school and is our church organist/pianist. She is married and, not only has one child who is a Grace graduate and another who is a current student, but she also graduated from Grace.
“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 5:19b-20
Miss Ariel Wald
7th - 8th Grade Homeroom
3rd - 8th Grade Science
4K - 8th Grade Computer Classes
Since Ms. Wald teaches science and computer classes, she is a very hands-on teacher. Her enthusiasm for science is contagious, and she tries to do experiments once a week with the students. She loves doing edible and messy projects, like using ice cream sundaes to show how the different layers of earth come together or using paint on speakers so that the students can not only hear sound but see it move. Ms. Wald also enjoys playing games with her students to help them learn key vocabulary; she is a huge believer in motion in the classroom.
Our computer lab thrives under Ms. Wald’s tutelage, and her favorite tools are: Google Apps-Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, which she utilizes to help students with cross-curricular projects. She also uses the following sites in the lab:
> Sumdog - Interactive game that improves student’s math skills from grades 3rd-8th
> Hour of Code - Introduces computer coding to students with fun interactive games
> Kahoot - Interactive review game for all subjects
> KidBlog - Safe site for students to blog about various topics
> ABCYA - Site for grades K-3 that has games to improve computer skills along with integrating math, science, and English.
> Typing Web - Tracks student’s progress in each lesson which enhances their accuracy and speed for typing.
She is a 2013 Concordia, WI graduate and holds a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in environmental science. Outside of her classroom, Ms. Wald helps with our middle school youth group, student council, Sunday School, and helps coach volleyball and track
While finishing school and doing her student teaching, Jeremiah 29:11 became one of Ms. Wald’s favorite verses. God’s good plans led her to Grace, and we feel blessed to have her on staff.